Dear Me-from-999-posts-ago

1000th post

Dear Me-from-45 months-and-999-posts ago,

So, you’re sitting down to write your first blog post. You don’t know what you’re doing but it’s okay. You’ll figure it out. Kinda. You’ll figure it out enough to keep going, and that is really all that matters.

You will start this blog because you need a place that is just for you, because after a year of the banter and the acronyms and the dancing smiley face signatures, the forums on FertilityFriend just won’t be enough. A few acquaintances from there will encourage you to start your own blog and after a lot of second guessing you’ll finally decide, why not?

At first no one will read you, except for those few friends from the forums, but it will be okay. You’ll keep writing because it feels so good to get it out. You’ll keep writing because you always loved the written word, especially your own rendition of it. You’ll keep writing because it fills a deep need inside of you, one you didn’t realize was even there until your words gave it a shape and a name.

And the writing will help you. It will see you through. Before anyone reads or comments it will just be you and the blank page and filling that space will be enough. Sending your thoughts and fears out into the ether will bring you enough peace that you’ll just keep doing it, over and over again.

After a while, you’ll start to reach out, to read other people’s blogs. Then, eventually, you’ll tentatively draft your first comments and later people will follow your comments back to your blog. Over time, they’ll comment there too. And finally, after many months and years, your blog will be a space where dialogue takes place. You will support others and others will support you. You will find a community of women who understand what you’re going through, and this will be so incredibly important because no one in real life will ever seem to.

You will find your tribe, a place where you feel accepted even if you never quite feel like you fit in. And if you just keep at it, if you just keep writing and commenting, eventually your blog will become your home and your readers will become your family.

There will be times when it’s not all fairy queefs and unicorn farts. You will make mistakes. You will share your blog with people you ought not to. You will unwittingly stir the pot and start shit. People might even refer to you as a drama queen–as an instigator–and while this was never your intent, you’ll learn from your misteps and you will make them less and less often. You will also learn to deal with the rare hurtful comment. Sometimes you’ll deal with them gracefully, other times less so. Always you will be learning, about what to say and when to keep your mouth shut, about the power your words wield.

Your blog will become you and in turn it will transform the person you will become. You will find yourself in your own words and in the conversations your words inspire. You will be honored and humbled by both what you manage to say and how others are kind and thoughtful enough to respond.

Sometimes you won’t be sure if you should keep writing. Sometimes you’ll wonder why you’re doing this and if you should keep going. KEEP WRITING. It will all be worth it in the end, even if you’re not quite sure why or how. Just keep writing.

It is because you keet at it that you meet your two incredible friends, the women who become for you that which you didn’t think you’d ever have in your life. These women will be the best friends you didn’t think 30-something mothers got to have. They will teach you what it means to be loved and understood. They will make you laugh and keep you from crying. Most importantly, they will dry your tears when they fall. They will be cherished gifts you can’t believe you’ve been given. And they will be in your life because of your blog.

And you will meet other women too. Some will sit across from you in flesh and blood and others will speak to you through the computer screen. No matter how you meet these women, no matter how and where your relationships play out, they will be incredible resources. These women will become the net you create to hold your life together. They will be your life lines. They will be your strength, your sounding boards, your support.

And you will have them in your life because of your blog. I know you can’t fathom it now, as you navigate the blank white space of your first post, but the words you’re writing will change your life. You are embarking on a grand adventure, you are taking control of your destiny in the one small and significant way that you know how.

I know it seems insane to think it now, as you press publish on that very first post, but you’ll go on to press publish 1000 more times. Some day, this space you hastily crafted for yourself will be a resource for others. Some day you’ll look back on who you were when you started writing and you won’t believe how far you’ve come. It seems impossible from where you’re sitting, but you’ll get there.

You just need to keep writing, and keep pressing publish.

What would you tell the you who was writing her first post?

10 responses

  1. Wow — what a milestone! And I love your letter to yourself.

    A woman was just asking me for advice about starting a blog, and I’m going to refer her here.

    I’m so glad you hit publish on post #1. And this one. And all those in between. I’m honored to be one of those people coming to you through the computer screen, and hopefully before post #2000 we’ll sit together in close proximity.

  2. What a wonderful post! It encapsulates somehow all of what is good about blogging as well as some of the downsides. I love what you said about how blogging and its community have become your “net.”

    On a personal note, this Stumbling Gracefully blog has brought me such an amazing friendship and I am forever grateful for that.

    Xoxo

  3. Congratulations on #1000- wow! I am so honored to be part of your net. And thank you for telling yourself to keep hitting publish- I hope you do for a very long time. You are a blogging as well as life inspiration to me- your honesty is so refreshing, and you have handled the downsides to blogging with incredible grace.

    Thank you for your incredibly kind comment on my “letter” post. And I’m so glad you decided to write one of your own.

    I would tell the me writing her first post to definitely go for it, because you have no idea how much you will need your blog in the coming years. It’s going to be your therapy, your support group, and your outlet for creativity whilest in the trenches of early motherhood. And you’ll make great friends because of it. Go for it.

  4. Wow. 1000 posts is a wonderful achievement.

    I particularly liked the truth and wisdom of these words of yours …

    “the words you’re writing will change your life. You are embarking on a grand adventure, you are taking control of your destiny in the one small and significant way that you know how.”

  5. This is so fun to read! I also love your picture collage – I’ve never gone back to read about when Isa was so little and I had no idea what a cute little baby she was!

  6. Wow! What a beautiful and moving letter to yourself back then. 1,000 posts is a huge milestone!

    This paragraph especially resonates with me:

    “You will make mistakes. You will share your blog with people you ought not to. You will unwittingly stir the pot and start shit. People might even refer to you as a drama queen–as an instigator–and while this was never your intent, you’ll learn from your misteps and you will make them less and less often. You will also learn to deal with the rare hurtful comment. Sometimes you’ll deal with them gracefully, other times less so. Always you will be learning, about what to say and when to keep your mouth shut, about the power your words wield.”

    I have been blogging for over 6 years now and have published (I had to actually go and look to see the #), as it turns out, exactly 700 posts! I didn’t even notice when I shared my Perfect Moment post earlier this week that it was my 700th!

    I love the idea of a letter to ourselves when we began blogging. Though I have never done that, I have written a letter to myself that I would have appreciated receiving the day we received our baby girl Molly’s diagnosis and prognosis: http://bereavedandblessed.com/2009/04/remembering-molly-1-year-happy-birthday/

    Also, on my 4th Blogoversary, I wrote a post about what I have learned through my experience writing and hitting publish time after time and year after year: http://bereavedandblessed.com/2011/04/4-years-of-blogging-things-i-have/

    I just re-read that post and the comments, including your comment on it, which you wrote after you had been blogging for 2.5 years and had written 600 posts… Interesting to see what you had to say then/400 posts ago. 🙂

    Both of those posts cover a lot of what I probably would tell myself back in the day.

    It is surreal to reflect on how far we have come through our blogging journeys. That’s part of why I began Time Warp Tuesdays and continue to enjoy that writing exercise.

    Anyway, I am up way past my bedtime again, which seems to be a bi-product of being a blogger/writer/online communicator. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this milestone! I feel blessed and lucky to have witness many of your 1,000 posts and look forward to reading many more in the months and years to come.

    I echo Lori’s sentiment that I hope and would love to have the opportunity to meet you in person before you reach another writing milestone this significant.

    Okay, this comment could have (and maybe should have) been a post in and of itself. But thank you for letting me process and share here, as always. Congrats on 1,000 posts and cheers to you! xoxo

  7. Congratulations on 1000 posts! I, for one, am glad you started blogging. And I like the collage. Many of those pictures are from before I was reading, so it’s fun to see how Isa was so little!

  8. Wow this spoke to me – I am going through some similar struggles and last week after being berated about a post that wasn’t about work I finally just removed it. For crazy people perception becomes reality and I needed to just rewrite it. I am struggling and debating whether to go anonymous again. Thank you!!! Your post spoke to me at a time I needed it most. Beautiful blog and btw congrats. Just read your other post too.

  9. This was so cool! Loved reading it. I’m still in my first year of blogging so I can really identify with the recipient of this letter (the you from 999 posts ago). Congratulations on your 1000th post. What a milestone!

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